I have a 12 month old MacBook Pro, and just over the last 3 weeks or so, the screens (one additional screen) just turns off and I cannot get it back on again.

I have to restart to turn the screen back on.

I'm not sure how to diagnose the issue and find out how to fix it, I'm really hoping to avoid using Apple support because it's my work laptop and I really need it to work daily.

  • Does the screen power off entirely? (Does a power light on your monitor turn off.) Or does the OS X interface go away, and the monitor displays some sort of "check input" message? Could you be clearer on exactly which screen(s) turn off? – Jason Salaz May 31 '11 at 23:47
  • sorry for being vague, when it happens there is no error, simply just switches off both on the external (non-apple) monitor and the laptop also screns also turns off. At this point on the external monitor I do get the "no signal" message and the laptop "seems" to be unresponsive. – Mark May 31 '11 at 23:58
  • So the external screen isn't shutting down, but the macbook pro itself is. – Neil Fein Jun 1 '11 at 2:34
  • Also, Apple Support is really quite good. Are you still under warranty or under Applecare? Call them or make an appointment at the Apple Store to have it checked out. You'll lose more downtime by not having the problem fixed. – Neil Fein Jun 1 '11 at 2:35
  • Can this be edited to be more suited to the Internet where temporary time frames are not a part of the question? It seems if you depend on something for work, you would want the best trained people working on it rather than avoiding those whose job it is to fix Macs. – bmike Nov 26 '12 at 23:16

This is a pretty vague question, but try some of these things:

  • Does the monitor work properly on other computers? (Probably you should check this first.)
  • You don't say if the external monitor is an Apple monitor or not, but are there drivers for the external monitor? If so, are they current?
  • Did you change anything in your system prior to the external screens breaking?
  • What happens prior to the external monitor turning off? Are you getting an error message? How long does the external screen work before it turns off? Is it an LCD or an older CRT monitor?
  • I was thinking this could be an issue with the monitor overheating and switching off, but it's currently not the summer where you are. Does the monitor have a fan that stopped working?
  • Does this happen when you boot into another user? What about if you boot onto another volume?
  • Thanks Neil. 1. Yep all fine on others, 2. Not apple Dell, how can I check the drivers? I have checked for updates and there are none so far, 3. no changes that I know of, 4. no errors, just switches off both the monitor and my laptop, after which the laptop seems to be 100% unresponsive, 5. Its got a fan, its been a great monitor, but since the laptop also turns off I don't think its an issue with the monitor, 6. It hasn't happened so far on the windows bootcamp. Where can I check for logs etc.? – Mark Jun 1 '11 at 0:01
  • So, hold on... the monitor as well as the entire laptop switch off? Sorry, thought this was just the display. My untrained hunch is that this sounds like a power supply or a fan problem. You might be better off with the Apple forums; these boards aren't designed for back-and-forth troubleshooting. However, if you have a 13" macbook pro, it's possible you may need a firmware update. (That one's not for the Pro line, but look around on Apple.com.) – Neil Fein Jun 1 '11 at 2:31
  • It is possible to do hardware troubleshooting here - pull this thread into a chat. – macaco Aug 30 '11 at 9:23
  • smc reset is the first place to start – Alexander Apr 3 '12 at 21:00
  • I had a similar problem that was caused by a stuck F1 (darken display) key. – Max Ried Aug 19 '12 at 8:51

Ok so I bit the bullet and took it into an Apple reseller repair shop, who (after 7 days) identified that there was a known defect with the motherboards in my range of macbooks, so it was covered with zero cost.

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